District Home, one of the city’s premier retailers, has quickly become a captivating destination for both interior designers and homeowners. Located on Tycos Drive, it’s a retail studio that boasts a meticulously curated collection of furniture, decor accessories, art, lighting and lifestyle products. Drawing inspiration from their own artistic vision, Shelley Hovesen-Camilleri and Kim Hovesen-Krasa, the co-founders and sisters behind this exceptional venture, shared their insights on their latest endeavour with us.

In the heart of Toronto’s Castlefi eld Design District is District Home, a sophisticated retail store that serves as a creative haven for the visionary sisters, Shelley Hovesen-Camilleri and Kim Hovesen-Krasa. Among the curated treasures that grace the store, one particular gem has captured Shelley’s heart — a 400-pound marble sculpture, in shades of green and white, capturing the design detail of an exquisite 1970s Lanvin couture dress. Behind this remarkable piece, Shelley reveals that the sculpture’s installation required careful coordination of eight individuals. “There were only 1,000 of these sculptures crafted,” she tells me passionately. “I purchase pieces like this and secretly hope they don’t sell because I get so attached and genuinely love them,” she says with a laugh. The conversation sparks to another unique find within District Home — captivating artwork that, at first, disguises as a gathering of people. Yet, when you look closer, it consists of iconic Hollywood stars. “It’s a true masterpiece that sparks conversations.” Shelley describes how visitors to the store often find themselves standing and staring at it.


District Home has plenty more than art. Shelley and Kim have masterfully created an environment that transcends the ordinary. In fact, the 4,000-square-foot location (and its website, districthome.com) boasts an exceptional assortment of highly curated and top-quality furniture, home decor accessories, wallcoverings, pieces for the outdoors and exquisite lighting. Each carefully chosen item carries a story and invites you on a journey of wonder. The Hovesen sisters opened the business as an extension of JF Fabrics, a large textile business founded in 1977 by their father, Bernie Hovesen. The company started off in all things textiles servicing interior designers, decorators and clients in both residential and hospitality industries, and eventually expanded their offerings to wallcoverings, drapery hardware, rugs, tapes and trim. Both Shelley and Kim worked for their father’s business for years and now they both own and run the company.


The retail studio that is District Home opened to the public and to professionals in July 2022, after a substantial renovation and a couple of years spent sourcing and purchasing. “It wasn’t easy to find new vendors and carve out a place for us during COVID, so that’s what we’ve been working on since our doors opened. Our focus is to bring in distinctive things you won’t find everywhere else in the area and more one-of-a-kind, limited-edition items,” Shelley says. “Designers have told us how much they appreciate us dealing with sourcing and logistics, how we’re solving a problem for them and how easy it is for them to purchase off the floor or order through us,” adds Kim.


Walk into District Home and you’ll immediately take note of the luxurious, serene aesthetic and the comfortable, friendly environment. Inviting music plays, stunning fixtures offer pretty ambient lighting and a plethora of attention-grabbing products take centre stage. Within the mixed metals, warm woods and marble pieces are layers of sheer fabric that hang from the 20-foot ceilings to separate spaces and shopping experiences. There’s lots of cream, beige and grey on the floor, and unique accents in black, gold and silver. The items they carry — everything from an assortment of cozy sofas and scented candles, to elaborate chandeliers and sculptural bar carts — are based on the sisters’ personal taste, their experience in the design industry and their commitment to offering a wide variety for clients. “We don’t just choose what’s trending in the market; instead, we bring in timeless items. We’re not looking to be a lookalike of other stores. We pick pieces we believe aren’t easily available,” says Kim. “We also offer different price points, and we cater not only to those who are looking for investment pieces, but also customers who stop in to pick up candles, pillows or lifestyle products.”


What’s perhaps most impressive about the business the sisters have cultivated is their exceptionally talented staff. “When someone walks into the store and doesn’t see the piece they’re looking for or sees something similar but wants to know if it comes in other colours, finishes or sizes, our team can help with all of their design needs. It’s a welcoming atmosphere and we are so excited to be growing and able to accommodate getting clients what they’re looking for, or coming upwith ideas that work for their spaces,” says Shelley. “If you can’t find something on the floor, no problem. We have no doubt we’ll find it for you.”